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Matrix is a decentralized, open source messaging system that integrates well with IRC. It provides modern features like a web interface, easy catch-up on missed conversation (without the need to run a bouncer), read-message tracking, and end-to-end encryption (implementation in progress). It even supports voice and video calling.

Using the web browser interface[edit]

The easiest way to get started with Matrix is using the Riot web interface. To register, create a free Matrix account at

If you have a bouncer, be sure to disconnect it before setting up Riot/Matrix. If you are using IRCCloud, signing out is not enough. You'll need to click on the gear icon next to the "Freenode" heading in the upper-right corner, and choose "Disconnect". Otherwise, the system will think your nick is taken, and Matrix will automatically connect you using a variation on your nick.

Connecting to freenode IRC channels[edit]

Configuring your IRC nick:

  • Click the + icon in the bottom left to create a new room
  • In the dialog, click the "Create Room" button
  • In the empty room, click "Invite to this room" in the bottom right corner
  • In the "Invite new room members" dialog, enter and click the "Send Invites" button.
  • Wait until " joined the room." is displayed.
  • In the "Send a message" area at the bottom, enter !nick <yournick> and press the Enter key

Connect to freenode channels:

Freenode IRC channels are reachable by connecting to a channel called #freenode_#<channel> For example, to connect to #mediawiki, start a matrix chat with

  • Click on the "Room directory" list icon in the lower left to bring up the room directory
  • In the search field, enter the entire channel you want to connect to, such as
  • When prompted, click on the "↲Join" button at the right in the search field
  • On the "Join Room" page, click "Click here" in the "You are trying to access a room. Click here to join the discussion!" text

The web interface hides some of that, so you can instead:

  • Click on the folder icon in the lower left to bring up the room directory
  • In the dropdown on the right, choose Freenode
  • Enter some of the channel name, like mediawiki and wait for the list to populate below
  • Click on the channel in the list
  • When prompted, choose to "join" the channel
  • NOTE: Private channels will not be listed--you'll need to get someone already in the channel to invite you

Authenticating with freenode:

After connecting to a channel on freenode, you should get a chat invite from NickServ. It is displayed in the panel on the left, in the "People" section. If you don't, you can initiate a chat with NickServ by clicking on the person icon ("Start Chat") in the bottom-left) and entering: Once you are in a chat with NickServ, to sign in, accept the chat invite & type: identify <user> <password>

Appservice 0.7 also added the option to save the IRC password. This avoids the need to re-authenticate manually, which is especially useful if you frequently use private channels. To save your password, go to the chat with, and type !storepass <yourpass>. Note: this seems to be necessary to connect to the #wikimedia-staff and certain password protected channels.


If you need further help with your Freenode connection, try issuing the command !help in your chat with If that doesn't work, you can try asking for help in the room, where people who maintain the IRC bridge code hang out.

Using a desktop application[edit]

  • Make sure you have already registered an account on
  • Install the package provided by your distribution, or follow the instructions at
  • Log into the Riot desktop application
  • Click the icon at "Search the room directory" to search for rooms
  • In the dropdown on the right, choose "Freenode"
  • In the #channel search field, enter #wikimedia-dev or such. Press the Enter key or click the "↲ Join" button, then confirm
  • See that you have joined that channel
  • To join more IRC rooms, use the "Room directory" button in the left bottom corner. You can also directly type "/join" in any chat window which will skip the confirmation part
  • Via the Preferences button in the left bottom corner, under "Notifications", you want to disable "Messages in group chats" as things can get noisy
  • Changing your IRC nickname on Freenode: Start a chat via In the private chat, use this command: !nick yourIrcNick
  • Authenticating to Freenode's NickServ: Start a chat via Then use this command: IDENTIFY yourUsername yourPassword

Wikimedia-related rooms[edit]

In addition to bridging to IRC channels, there are a few rooms on as well (some are just test spaces):

Further Links[edit]